Comments about technological history, system fractures, and human resilience from James R. Chiles, the author of Inviting Disaster: Lessons from the Edge of Technology (HarperBusiness 2001; paperback 2002) and The God Machine: From Boomerangs to Black Hawks, the Story of the Helicopter (Random House, 2007, paperback 2008)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

JLG Crawler-lift: Ditching ladders and scaffolds for "high inside" work

Finished training last week on how to operate a scissor-lift, and during a break, the instructor showed me a compact, crawler-mounted boomlift marketed by JLG. Here's a photo of it inching through a doorway (twentywheels.com):


I haven't used it, but the idea is cool enough - a track-mounted machine that:
  • Fits through a 40-inch-wide doorway;
  • Can crawl up a 40 percent slope;
  • Expands its footprint via hydraulically actuated outriggers; 
  • Is powered by rechargeable batteries, needing no IC engine or power cord inside;
  • Has a railed platform at the end of an extendable boom that, in the largest model, would let me change a light bulb 75 feet off the floor; and,
  • So I hear, costs a quarter-million dollars.
Photo from JLG of the big one in action:


And, for the well-heeled handyman, it would be very nice for roof work (photo, twentywheels.com)


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